On Tuesday (July 26), Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA.), alongside a group of five Democratic lawmakers, introduced a bill that would limit the term of Supreme Court Justices.
The legislation, which lawmakers believe will “restore legitimacy and independence to the nation’s highest court,” would require the President to nominate Supreme Court Justices every two years. The nominations would occur in the first and third years following a Presidential election.
Titled the Supreme Court Tenure Establishment and Retirement Modernization Act, the legislation details that Justices who’ve been on the bench the longest would be moved to senior status first.
If the Senate confirms the legislation, a Justice could only serve 18 years on the bench, at which point they would retire from active service and assume senior status.
If enacted, the Justices on the bench at that time would be moved to senior status one by one as new Justices are confirmed in the first and third year after a Presidential Election.
Justices with senior status will still hold office under the status, and receive full pay, and — should the number of Justices dip below nine, the most recent senior Justice would assume the role of the ninth associate Justice.
In a statement, Hank explains the bill’s intentions, pointing to solving a “legitimacy crisis” created because “Five of the six conservative justices on the bench were appointed by presidents who lost the popular vote, and they are now racing to impose their out-of-touch agenda on the American people, who do not want it.”